Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What Is Spirituality? Robert Ingersoll

Guy Farley-Modigliani Suite (Piano Version)

What is spirituality?
Robert Ingersoll

Nothing is more sickening than the "spiritual" whine--
the pretence that crawls at first and talks about humility and then suddenly becomes arrogant and says:"I am 'spiritual.' I hold in contempt the vulgar joys of this life.You work and toil and build homes and sing songs...You subdue the earth and dig for gold,You have your theaters,your operas and all the luxuries of life;but I,beggar that I am,Pharisee that I am,am your superior because I am 'spiritual.'"

"Spirituality" for the most part is a mask worn by idleness, arrogance and greed. Some people imagine that they are "spiritual" when they are sickly. It has been repeated over and over for several hundred years by pious pretenders and snivelers as though it belonged exclusively to them.

They have soured the mother's milk. They have insisted that joy is crime—that beauty is a bait with which the Devil captures the souls of men—that laughter leads to sin — that pleasure,in its every form,degrades.They have tried to compel men to love shadows rather than woman— phantoms rather than people.

It may be well enough to ask: What is it to be really spiritual?

The spiritual man lives to his ideal.He endeavors to make others happy.He does not despise the passions that have filled the world with art and glory.He loves his wife and children -- home and fireside.He cultivates the amenities and refinements of life.

He is the friend and champion of the oppressed.His sympathies are with the poor and the suffering.He attacks what he believes to be wrong,though defended by the many,and he is willing to stand for the right against the world.He enjoys the beautiful.

In the presence of the highest creations of Art his eyes are suffused with tears.When he listens to the great melodies,the divine harmonies, he feels the sorrows and the raptures of death and love.

He is intensely human.He carries in his heart the burdens of the world. He searches for the deeper meanings.He appreciates the harmonies of conduct,the melody of a perfect life.

He tries to discharge the duties of this life,to help those that he can reach.He believes in being useful -- in making money to feed and clothe and educate the ones he loves -- to assist the deserving and to support himself.He does not wish to be a burden on others.He is just, generous and sincere.

Spirituality is all of this world.It is a child of this earth.it makes a heaven where it is.

The spiritually-minded man is a poet.If he does not write poetry,he lives it.He is an artist.If he does not paint pictures or chisel statues,he feels them, and their beauty softens his heart.He fills the temple of his soul with all that is beautiful, and he worships at the shrine of the Ideal.

In all the relations of life he is faithful and true.He asks for nothing that he does not earn.He does not wish to be happy in heaven if he must receive happiness as alms.He does not rely on the goodness of another.He is not ambitious to become a winged pauper.

Spirituality is the perfect health of the soul. It is noble, generous,brave,free-spoken,natural,superb.

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